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Like it or not, we all get old eventually -- and our beloved pets get older even more quickly than we do. This means that your pet may be requiring special veterinary needs sooner than you might think, especially if he is close to the age of 7 already. Geriatric animals are more prone to obesity, chronic pain and other health problems, so you need to know that your pet has a reliable source for Radford senior pet care -- and we're ready to provide that specialized care here at Radford Animal Hospital.
What age range counts as "senior" in the world of dogs and cats? Generally speaking, an animal joins the geriatric population around the age of 7. (Exceptions include large dog breeds who have inherently shorter life spans and thus enter their "golden years" proportionately earlier.) Your senior pet may look and behave much as he always did, apart from some slowing down due to arthritic joints and lower metabolic rate. Even so, he is more likely to struggle with a variety of age-related health concerns at this period of life, including:
Congestive heart failure
Type 2 diabetes
High blood pressure
Kidney, liver or other organ failure
Cataracts, deafness and other perception problems
Cognitive issue, including dementia
Periodontal disease and dental troubles (including tooth resorption in cats)
Arthritis and age-related joint wear
This may all sound overwhelming, but don't fret -- our veterinary team of Dr. Newman and Dr. Hanson can help your senior pet enjoy an optimal state of wellness and comfort. Our senior pet care programs place an emphasis on a twice-yearly wellness exam instead of the annual exam your pet may be used to. This gives us ample opportunity to check every inch of your pet inside and out for any signs of age-related issues that require the earliest possible treatment.
Many age-related problems can be reduced or even avoided by making sure your pet's weight is under control. Obesity is a known factor in high blood pressure, disease, organ failure and other diseases, so we will weigh your pet regularly. Older animals who experience joint pain may tend to be sedentary, so we may need to reduce their caloric intake and advise you on gentle exercises which will keep your pet maintain a healthy weight. If you pet still suffers from systemic diseases, we can prescribe medications and other treatment methods.
Our team at Radford Animal Hospital can help your aging pet control chronic pain in a number of ways. These may include NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), corticosteroids, nutritional supplements such as fish oil and exercises to help keep arthritic joints supple.
Your old friend deserves the happiest, healthiest life possible, and the first step is to schedule the necessary senior pet care. Call (540) 613-1617 today to schedule a senior pet wellness exam!